Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Remember to Stop and Smell the Roses

Sometimes something happens and we stop. We stop and realize that our priorities are not straight; we let life get in the way.

My Grandma died Sunday morning. It wasn't expected; it was sudden. I didn't have time to talk to her again or listen to all the stories she had left to tell. She had a whole life of stories. She won't meet her great grandchildren. I won't have Grandma's homemade jerky or pickled watermelon. No more smoked salmon as gifts for the boys. I know I shouldn't get upset about the past, but I am. I regret not making more time for family. In the last year I have lost my Aunt, Uncle, and Grandma. I should have learned the first time, definitely by the second, yet I had not. I didn't stop; I didn't think; I didn't make time. I just kept living my life pretending that as long as I kept on going, everyone else would. I was wrong.

Now I am stopping, I am rethinking, I am making time. I need to make memories with my loved ones. I will make memories with my loved ones. I won't think twice next time I am asked over. I will make time to visit. I will make time to laugh. I want to be a part of the memories. We don't have enough time, life is short. It isn't long, there isn't enough time here. I have changed my priorities. Hopefully, it is not too late.

For those that don't know, I received news on Friday the 16th that my Grandma was given 1-2 days to live. It was very sudden with no warning. She was fine Monday, she went to the casino with my Aunt. Grandma was the most stubborn independent woman I know. She would have wanted it this way. She didn't want to suffer and she didn't want to go to a home. When I got the news on Friday I was on my way home from work. I called my husband right away and told him we were leaving for Oregon in a few hours. My sister, Brant, Hub, and I left Everett at 8 pm. We arrived in Corvallis around 4am. I was up at 7 and we were at the hospital by 8 or 9. When we walked into the room the doctor was there and discussing comfort care. I asked my aunt to hold off until my dad could get there. He was 6 hours away or so. My aunt completely agreed, as she didn't understand what comfort care was.

My dad didn't want me to call my sister, but I did, and he was glad. Everyone that could make it, did. We all sat in the room and shared stories and laughs while we watched my Grandma slip away. She loved angels, now she gets to be one! It is unfortunate that it took a time like this to bring us all together, but it did. I won't let that happen again. We stayed there all night and Hub and I left the room about 2am. I wasn't okay with it, so we went back around 3:30am. We stayed about half an hour. Grandma was having such a hard time breathing, and I couldn't be there anymore. I said my goodbye's one last time. As we were walking out, I told Hub that she would be gone within the hour. 5:01 I get a call and I knew what it meant. We went racing back to the hospital to grieve with the family. When I walked in I had this overwhelming sense of peace and relief. She was no longer suffering and now could watch over us all.

After a little time Hub and I went outside to get some fresh air. While sitting on the curb I asked Grandma to please give me a sign she was okay. Sure enough, within seconds, I see a large shadow. I look up, no birds. The shadow was still there, and that's when I knew it was Grandma sending me her message. I will forever cherish those few seconds, whether anyone believes me or not. I have come out of this learning that I need to take the time for the little things, and not get overwhelmed by work. I finally know what I have to do.

I have to stop and smell the roses.
Don't forget to do it yourself.


  1. I'm absolutely bawling. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, Tawnya. This was very moving. I hope your doing ok!

  2. I am so sorry about your loss Tawnya. I completely believe you when you said that your Grandma sent you a message that she was okay. Take care of yourself and if you need anything feel free to call!